There has been a lot of talk about the cloud, it’s various advantages and disadvantages. Here are my thoughts.
I believe a full cloud solution is still a distant reality. There will always be some or the other integration point, some piece of code that will be lying somewhere that is not on the cloud. So something that is 100% cloud based seems a little farfetched at the moment.
The biggest advantage that a cloud based solution provides is scalability, not reliability as some might think. Scalability that is peak load oriented. There will be some websites that are very active during some time of the day/month/year and dormant at other times. Why would you want to invest in a huge sever that remains idle for most of the time and is used only intermittently at best. An event ticket website is a good example. There is huge load closer to the event date.
However beyond that there are some serious implications of a pure cloud based system.
A cloud is, well, just like a cloud. Not too much that you can control on these things. Security, reliability are yet to be proven in a big way. You do not know where your data is kept and you do not have any control if for some reason the cloud bursts. Happened with the amazon cloud just a few days ago. Human error was the culprit.
So think carefully before you opt for a cloud based solution. It is not the panacea for all your server/hosting needs. You might be better off with something closer to you. Something you have a little more control of.